The Air Force is investigating a senior Pentagon official who was reassigned last month amid accusations of misconduct while overseeing the Guantanamo war crimes tribunals, according to a former chief prosecutor.
An investigation of Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann was recently opened following a complaint from a military defense lawyer, Air Force Col. Morris Davis said Saturday.
Davis said Air Force Brig. Gen. Steven Lepper first called him two weeks ago to interview him about the complaints against Hartmann. The questions focused on Hartmann's influence on the prosecution of cases, Davis said.
"I'm optimistic that this current round of investigations will lead to something productive," said Davis, who quit as chief prosecutor in October 2007 after clashing with Hartmann.
Defense lawyers and human rights groups have accused Hartmann, who supervised the prosecution of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, of lacking neutrality and pushing for prosecutions that would captivate the public for political gain, even before the detainees were ready to be charged.
The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that both the Air Force and the Department of Defense's Office of the Inspector General have launched separate inquiries into Hartmann's conduct.